Coaches Making Plans for Backup QB

Texas coach Mack Brown is making contingency plans this week for a backup quarterback if Colt McCoy has not fully recovered from a severe pinched nerve in time for Texas' December 30 date with Iowa in the Alamo Bowl.

This much is certain: coaches will not lift the redshirt from freshman Sherrod Harris. That currently leaves walk-on Matt McCoy as the primary backup if Colt is unable to go or if he is re-injured during the bowl game.

"That (lifting the redshirt) wouldn't be fair to Sherrod," Brown said. "Colt would be the starter and Matt McCoy would be the second-team (quarterback). Now, since we don't have a third-teamer, we'll have to look at an emergency guy. And we'll have plenty of time to do that before we start practice next week."

Matt McCoy has not taken a game-day snap since Texas' October 14 win against Baylor.

Coaches will, in all probability, look initially to WR Billy Pittman. The junior was a four-year starter at QB at Cameron Yoe and was Texas' scout team running QB during his RS-freshman year (2004). If not Pittman, then sophomore Quan Cosby could also get a look as backup QB. Cosby was a two-time Texas 2A First-Team All-State selection at both QB and at DB at Mart.

Although no timetable has been set for McCoy's recovery from a late hit suffered against Texas A&M, Longhorn trainers reported last week that the RS-freshman had made "significant progress" toward recovery. X-rays taken at an Austin hospital showed no structural damage. Brad McCoy, Colt's father, has stated publicly that he thinks his son will be able to play in the bowl game.

"We'll obviously look at Colt's situation and see what he looks like as we get closer to game time before we make that (backup QB) decision," Brown continued. "We always keep an extra quarterback available because if something happens to two quarterbacks during the course of a game, you need to have somebody available to help."

In this case, something happened during the course of the post-season when backup QB Jevan Snead's decision to transfer was announced last Friday. Obviously, McCoy's injury initially suffered at Kansas State was not the sole reason for Texas' two-game slide, but it may very well be the most symbolic reason.

"The players know that we didn't play as well after Colt got hurt," Brown said. "We hope we can get him well, but we've got to do a better job of stepping up and doing other things well if he's not available for the game."

Texas returns to practice on December 12.

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